BoxheadTim SuperDork
April 23, 2011 9:22 a.m.

I'm looking for a sporty fun vehicle...

... and there are two Biturbos for sale up in Reno.

What was it I said in my sig?

Edit: Well, it looks like it's the same car, and it needs some interior work but it has 14k on a rebuilt engine.

thestig99
thestig99 Reader
April 23, 2011 9:31 a.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: What was it I said in my sig?

You have money and time to burn and you have more fun from underneath the car than you do from the drivers seat?

BoxheadTim SuperDork
April 23, 2011 9:36 a.m.

Ah, it looks like the signature has already fallen off. Good start.

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 23, 2011 9:40 a.m.

Go for it.

That said, mine last about a month and 1500 miles before the a/c belt somehow got behind the timing cover and between the timing belt & timing gear.

I have bent valves on 2 cylinders. She's sitting until I have the money/time to source a complete FI engine.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
April 23, 2011 9:58 a.m.

I guess that answers the question as to how the daily driving is going...

carguy123 SuperDork
April 23, 2011 10:35 a.m.

No. Don't do it.

no don't do it

o on't o t

Kinda hard to work up enthusiasm to keep some other fool from spending hid money

pres589 Dork
April 23, 2011 10:51 a.m.

They seem like they could be a great car if a guy were to take the time and expense to pull it apart somewhat and go through everything. Like the electrics; I bet a walk through the Painless Wiring catalog and then just cleaning and checking all grounds and contacts would make that easy to live with afterward.

And that engine, I just looked up the specs on an 86 Federal Biturbo, and they made all of 180 HP. Wouldn't an Alfa 3.0 V6 from a late 164 make more power, be easier to live with, and sound just as nice? Just a thought. Maybe the Maser/Citroen engine there to start with isn't so bad but the design and implementation just doesn't seem real-world rational.

I've never touched one so grain of salt, I can understand the appeal, but it seems like a major project to put one right and work out the designed in faults.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
April 23, 2011 11:04 a.m.

The local one has already got the fuse box fixed up/replaced, which is a main source of issues on these. wiring per se doesn't scare me unless the usual monkeys have nested in there (like in my CJ).

You supposedly can squeeze about 200bhp out of the engine easily by just working on it breathing out (basically by adding a high flow cat). I don't think I'd throw in an Alfa lump, that would just feel wrong...

It's one of those cars that you have to be able to live with, warts and all. That's the part that scares me a little because I don't know if I can.

OTOH I have a weakness for strange Italian exotica...

huge-O-chavez SuperDork
April 23, 2011 12:31 p.m.

Well logically, the only thing more painful to drive on a daily basis than your CJ would be a BIturbo..

The electrics and mechanics have about the same level of reliability..

jrw1621 SuperDork
April 23, 2011 2:30 p.m.
BoxheadTim wrote: ...it has 14k on a rebuilt engine.

14k on the rebuild but how many miles are on the odometer?
My guess is less than 50k, so what does this tell you about a car that needed a rebuild at 36k miles?

I do love the looks of a Biturbo and considered one years and years ago but even then they where mechanical POS's.

keethrax Reader
April 23, 2011 3:05 p.m.
Edit: Well, it looks like it's the same car, and it needs some interior work but it has 14k on a rebuilt engine.

So in other words, it's already on borrowed time...

Travis_K Dork
April 23, 2011 3:15 p.m.

If you have another normal car to use and you just want something to drive for fun, go for it. I have thought about getting one, I probably will someday. The parts mostly aren't even that expensive. The people who have actually had them a long time (as in since when they were too new to have been that neglected) and kept them up seem to like them,

iceracer Dork
April 23, 2011 5:57 p.m.

It takes an awful lot of work on the brakes and suspension to make it good for the track.

I have a friend who has modified one as above. The body and engine are about the only thing stock. It even has an intercooler.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
April 23, 2011 6:13 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote:
BoxheadTim wrote: ...it has 14k on a rebuilt engine.
14k on the rebuild but how many miles are on the odometer? My guess is less than 50k, so what does this tell you about a car that needed a rebuild at 36k miles? I do love the looks of a Biturbo and considered one years and years ago but even then they where mechanical POS's.

I think m443w mentioned that the odometers are hilariously inaccurate on these cars, and that a car that says 50k may very well have over 100k on it.

jrw1621 SuperDork
April 23, 2011 8:18 p.m.

Interesting that your statement seems to defend the mechanical reliability of the car by pointing to another "hilariously inaccurate" and I suspect hilariously unreliable part of the cars. ??

Feedyurhed HalfDork
April 24, 2011 7:33 a.m.

Here watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiORhKnwXF4

Then go put your hand in a vice and slowly turn, it will be less painful than owning one of these.

Seriously, I had a friend that had one and all I can say is run don't walk. Sorry.

BoxheadTim SuperDork
April 24, 2011 8:13 a.m.

Well, "run, don't walk" was an appropriate reaction that car. Probably would've made a better parts car than a driver - needed paint, work on the seats, the engine couldn't really figure out if it wanted to blow blue or black[1] smoke when starting up. That was roughly the point when I decided that I had seen enough to make a decision.

[1] All the emissions equipment was supposedly residing in the trunk, but the trunk wouldn't open. And I had the nasty suspicion that nobody thought of adjusting the carb after removing the equipment.

aussiesmg SuperDork
April 24, 2011 8:20 a.m.

If ever a car cried out for an LS swap....

m4ff3w SuperDork
April 24, 2011 10:38 a.m.
jrw1621 wrote: Interesting that your statement seems to defend the mechanical reliability of the car by pointing to another "hilariously inaccurate" and I suspect hilariously unreliable part of the cars. ??

I do think generally speaking the engine/trans/brakes/suspension work pretty well.

The valves do need adjusting frequently though, along with short timing belt intervals.

Odometers tend to break. Mine has 25k on it. I'm sure it is closer to 50k, though the car did sit the bulk of the time since '94.

huge-O-chavez SuperDork
April 24, 2011 11:42 a.m.
Feedyurhed wrote: Here watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiORhKnwXF4

I love the comments on that video.. "Ohh that car is amazing, it's a classic, don't crush it... " "various slurs against obama"

I don't think these people have ever worked on or driven in italian cars. Sure they're awesome, when they run, but the amount of work required to keep them going is stupid when you can go buy an e30..

triumph5
triumph5 Dork
April 24, 2011 1:26 p.m.

Boxhead: Ever go look at a GT6 you talked about a while back? You have said you liked the body design. Parts are plentiful, and it's not run-of-the-mill one sees at meets, yet parts are readily available, and they're not $$ to get into or maintain.

TR8owner Reader
April 24, 2011 1:58 p.m.

Ditto on the GT6. But then I'm a British car guy and have always ran and hid from those Eye-talian cars. They're beautiful but I'm sure a Maserati, etc is a lot more expensive to fix than a FIAT (or GT6).

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